by Tom Utescher
More Springside Chestnut Hill Academy players enjoyed success in their tennis contests last Tuesday than those from visiting Shipley School, but Shipley actually won more matches.
That’s because the four successful SCH athletes were paired up in doubles competition, while the visiting Gators were the winners in the three singles contests on the agenda. The fourth-year coach for the Blue Devils, Ashley Vandegrift, is starting out with a less-experienced squad than she had last year; six seniors graduated from the 2013 roster.
Last Tuesday’s outing was the second official match of the season for both SCH and Shipley. The Blue Devils had fallen, 2-5, to an always-solid Friends Schools League squad, Friends Central, while Shipley had bowed, 2-3, to one of SCH’s Inter-Ac colleagues, Baldwin School.
Both of the SCH doubles duos proved persistent last Tuesday, with each tandem having to win a tiebreaker in order to prevail. At first doubles, Blue Devils sophomore Victoria Walters joined up with senior Allison Day. After winning the opening set in a 7-4 tiebreaker over Shipley seniors Sophie Pilkington and Jordan Gottlieb, the home twosome took the second segment at 6-4.
The score was also 6-4 in the first set at second doubles, with SCH fielding another sophomore/senior combo in Cindy Pan and Emily Sullivan. Shipley’s Elizabeth Menkowitz (senior) and Sophia Korfman (junior) rebounded to win the second set, also by a 6-4 tally. In the interest of time, a tiebreaker was played in place of a full third set, and here Pan and Sullivan triumphed, 10-8.
Things did not go as well for the hosts in singles competition. Shipley’s 11th-grade twins, Britt and McKinley Lovett, played one and two, respectively, for the Gators. Britt overcame Blue Devils junior Aakanksha Sharma, 6-2, 6-1, and McKinley closed out another SCH 11th-grader, Federica Cristofanilli, 6-1, 6-0.
At third singles, a pair of 6-2 sets carried Gators senior Rachel Grobman past Melanie Graves, a sophomore.
Coping with some early injuries, Shipley could not field enough players to follow the three singles/four doubles match format normally employed by host SCH and the Inter-Ac League. The official scoring for the encounter followed the three/two arrangement used in the Friends Schools League, although a third doubles bout was played as an exhibition.
Here, Springside Chestnut Hill juniors Emily Swan and Maia Brown were edged out by Shipley sophomores Taylor Dumas and Kate Ashkenazy, 6-4, 6-4.